Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Sabah politician probed over RM40m contracts

KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) is closing in on a high-ranking Sabah politician for alleged abuse of power, forgery and bribery which allowed him to get three contracts worth about RM40 million in Labuan.

Bernama learnt that the politician had allegedly bribed officers at the Federal Territories Ministry, which gives out tenders, to help his engineering firm get the contracts.

In addition, the 51-year-old man is also suspected to have forged documents relating to contracts to obtain an RM8 million loan from a bank in Kota Kinabalu to settle his debts and make progress payments to sub-contractors hired by him for the three contracts concerned.

Bernama also learnt that Bank Negara and the Sabah Commercial Crime Department had instructed their officers to investigate why the bank in Kota Kinabalu had released RM8 million to the politician without proper documentation.

Sabah ACA director Latifah Mohd Yatim declined to comment.

It is also known that several files belonging to the politician, who holds a high-ranking position in a government agency in Labuan, were seized by ACA investigators recently.

Bernama learnt that the Sabah ACA would record the politician's statement soon and wrap up the case for action.

Meanwhile, an official in a federal agency in Labuan said the Sabah ACA had informed him of the investigation and the agency was looking into the matter.

"They recorded my statement last Saturday and we are ready to help the Sabah ACA in its probe.

"We will bring this matter to our board of directors soon.

"We are not going to compromise on the (politician's) wrongdoing," he said, adding that the agency had not yet decided on the action to be taken against the politician.

Bernama learnt that the politician also had ACA and police reports lodged against him by a Kuala Lumpur-based sub-contractor, who was given a contract to build a RM20.5 million market in Labuan. Eventually, the sub-contractor suffered losses amounting to about RM500,000.

The 28-year-old man, who wanted to be identified as Eric, said he lodged a report against the politician at the Sabah ACA headquarters on July 29 before lodging a police report at the Kamunsing station in Kota Kinabalu the following day.

He said he was awarded the contract to build a market in Labuan and received a letter of acceptance (LA) from the politician's engineering firm early this year.

"However, the LA was incomplete and I asked him for a proper documentation.

"The politician was reluctant to do so, saying that I should trust him as he was a well-known.

"I have all the evidence to prove that the politician had misused his power.

"He asked me to begin the construction without signing any documents and only made an initial payment of RM200,000.

"I trusted him and he promised me that he would pay the balance.

"However, on July 14, he sent me a letter of termination of the RM20.5 million contract without notice," said Eric, adding that the politician had made a new agreement with another party to build the market.

He is thinking of suing the politician.

No comments: